Advocacy Leaders Update
From the American Forest Foundation
The Inflation Reduction Act Passes the Senate
On Sunday afternoon the Senate passed the reconciliation Bill- coined the Inflation Reduction Act - which includes $369 billion to combat climate change and bolster U.S. energy. This legislation has the power to help unlock the potential in family-owned forests to tackle climate change while providing a critical economic infusion in rural communities.
What is in the Bill for Family Forest Owners?
The Inflation Reduction Act provides transformational funding to forest-climate initiatives that will support forest landowners and help them meet their needs and the needs of our planet. Most notably, historically disadvantaged landowners and landowners owning less than 2,500 acres of forest land will be given better access to grants and cost-share programs, as well as more opportunities to access carbon markets, such as AFF and The Nature Conservancy’s Family Forest Carbon Program.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes the following specific provisions for family forest owners:
- $400 million in competitive grants and cost share to support underserved forest landowners or those who own less than 2,500 acres in forest resilience activities and climate mitigation markets.
- $50 million for competitive grants to owners of private forest land for implementation of forestry practices to increase carbon sequestration and storage.
- $8.45 billion for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to improve soil carbon or reduce nitrogen losses or greenhouse gas emissions, or capture or sequester greenhouse gas emissions
- $100 million for the Wood Innovation Grant Program to support solutions that utilize forestry residue for innovative end uses.
- $1.8 billion for the National Forest System to support wildfire risk-reducing activities within the wildland-urban interface including eligible biomass removal.
The American Forest Foundation is excited about the tremendous opportunities the above provisions will provide to forest landowners. AFF applauds members of the Senate, especially Senator Stabenow (D-MI), for their dedication and bipartisan support of America’s family-owned forests.
You can read a summary of all climate provisions from our partner the Bipartisan Policy Center here, and a summary of the entire bill here.
The Inflation Reduction act will next head to the House of Representatives where members will vote. The turnaround is expected to be swift with votes taking place on Friday. The package is expected to pass as both progressive and moderate democrats have signaled their support. If they approve it, the legislation will head to Biden’s desk, where he will sign it into law.
What can you do? If you are a forest landowner or forest or climate enthusiast and want to see this legislation made into law, your legislators need to hear from you. We encourage you to contact your Representative to let them know you support the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act through our easy to use letter tool HERE.
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